Hot on the heels of new rumours about her alleged dalliances with man and woman alike, Taylor Swift‘s cover story for Billboard has been released, in which she insists she’s staying single because that way, no one’s getting hurt. Of course, this is a pretty callous way to live and also a pretty lonely one, and no doubt she’ll change her tune when she next falls in love, but for now, this is how she feels:
Billy Joel recently said that one reason he stopped writing songs was because people started reading too much of his personal life into his lyrics. Has the way everyone plays connect the dots with your songs become a hindrance to your writing?
I’ve been dealing with it for so many years now that I expect the media to do it, I expect fans to do it. Human curiosity is never to be underestimated. But I don’t have anyone whose feelings are on the line except for me. If I was in love with someone right now, I don’t know how I would handle everyone else weighing in on our stories, because when you’re in a relationship there are a lot of secrets and a lot of sacred moments that you don’t want to divulge. I, however, am 24, perfectly happy being alone, and one of the reasons I’m perfectly happy being alone is that no one gets hurt this way.
Huh. Well, if that’s what you want, Taylor. But at least you’ve got lots of famous friends around you. How did you get to know all of these women, if you don’t mind sharing?
You have assembled this salon of really famous women around you — Lorde and Lena and Karlie. How did you build this posse?
Every one of my friendships has a unique and odd beginning. I was watching Girls and I thought, “How mind-blowing is it that this girl is writing, directing and acting in this incredibly profound, raw, authentic view of being a woman in your mid-20s?” So I went to Lena’s Twitter and she was following me. I saw her quoting my lyrics. At first I was afraid, because I thought she was being ironic or making fun of me. Then I looked down further and she’s talking about my music all the time. So I followed her, and immediately got a direct message back saying, “When can we hang out? We need to be best friends.”
With Ella — Lorde — her album came out and I thought it was amazing, so I sent her flowers and congratulated her on a great first week. And I get this text message from one of our mutual friends, [Rookie editor/actress] Tavi Gevinson, and she says, “Lorde is freaking out because she said some stuff about you in an interview and she feels so terrible.” She essentially had said that I’m too perfect or something like that — something that did not even mildly offend me, that I thought was cute. She felt so bad about it, so I said, “It’s no big deal. We should hang out sometime.” We met up in New York and walked to a park near my hotel, and we ate Shake Shack burgers and got attacked by monster squirrels who wanted our food. I could keep going — Karlie and I met at the Victoria’s Secret show …
Did you set out to gather these strong females around you? How much is accidental and how much is it because it was the right moment for that?
I never thought too hard about it, but you’ll notice a lot of celebrity-type people tend to surround themselves with people whose lives revolve around them. You’ll have a posse of these exciting and fashionable cling-ons, and it’s because those celebrities need to be fawned over.
I feel uncomfortable being the No. 1 priority in my friends’ lives — I want to be there to make their lives more fun, if they need to talk, to be there for spontaneous and exciting adventures, but I don’t want friends who don’t have a life outside of me. So whether it’s Karlie, who loves what she does in fashion, or Lily Aldridge or Lena or my [childhood] friend Abigail, whose job is making sure that veterans get their compensation checks, the one thing they all have in common is that they love what they do. They have me in their life because they want me in their life, not because they gain from it.
I love this last part in particular – she’s so spot on. You really DO see celebrities with “friends” that will kiss their asses 24/7 (because literally they have nothing else to offer – and I know a few people who are in that very position) so it’s really good to hear that acknowledged by someone with the awareness to recognize it despite the fact that she could be in that position herself.
The whole interview is worth reading, particularly if you’re a Tay Swift fan (and even if you’re not) – click over to the source to check it out, if that’s your thing.